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Injustice Worksheet – Roger Taney and Injustice: The Dred Scott Decision

Directions: On Question #4 of the Discussion Guide you outlined arguments that might have been made by the attorneys in Dred Scott’s case. Having read excerpts from the majority and a dissent, in what ways, if at all, would you modify or enhance your previous attorney arguments? What do you think were the most persuasive arguments in each of the opinion excerpts?

““All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.””
–THOMAS JEFFERSON, “FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESSS,” 1801